Aston Villa host Manchester at the Villa Park on Sunday, 8 November, in what will be new manager Remi Garde's first game as Villa manager. The former Lyon official has been touted to be the one to take over at Arsenal following Arsene Wenger's retirement and has the chance to show his credentials by taking Villa out of the relegation zone.
Where to Watch Live
Kick-off is set for 1:30pm GMT. Live coverage of the game will be on Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 1 HD.
Villa will be bouncing to welcome their new manager Garde following the unceremonious exit of Tim Sherwood, whose team sunk to the bottom of the leaguewith only four points from a possible 33. The former Lyon manager has already shied away from promising a miracle, but has insisted he will try hard to draw the best out of the players.
There could not have been a tougher fixture for the new manager to take over at Villa Park, given the form City are in right now, winning their games in the league and in Europe with consummate ease. In contrast, the Villans come into the game on the back of a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane.
Manuel Pellegrini is enjoying his time at the top of the table and despite some major injuries to key players has kept his winning streak going, which should give him much-needed confidence. Their 2-1 win over Norwich City in the league last weekend was one where they may have dropped points on another day, but a brilliant penalty by Yaya Toure saved the day and helped them leap above Arsenal on goal difference.
This will be a homecoming of sorts for Fabian Delph who left Villa Park this summer and Pellegrini is worried if he will receive a toxic reception. With the Gunners hosting Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates, it may be a chance for the Citizens to open up a gap between themselves and their closest challengers, who will be tired following a 5-1 drubbing at the hands of Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena.
What Managers Say
Remi Garde: "In football, things can change. If I didn't think I could change things I would have said 'No, this job is not for me'. But I've got the hope that we can do it. I don't know what happened before, I was not inside and I can't judge. I can only focus on what will happen from now on. I haven't the certainty we will stay in the Premier League because the situation we are in is difficult but I have strong belief we will do it. I'm not a dreamer or a magic man, I have strong ideas. Maybe that was why I stopped at Lyon – because you need strong energy for what I want to do – but now I think there are things I want to change. That is not saying what went on before was wrong. There is not only one way to win games but I have my ideas and a strategy that I want to implement."
Manuel Pellegrini: "Maybe Clichy and Delph are not ready to start but they are to be on the bench and that's important. Clichy can play on both sides which is important as Zabaleta is injured. Silva is working – his ankle is not 100% fit. He tried last week to play a small-sided game but he couldn't. I hope after these 15 days he will be OK. The Spanish national team know David cannot play and so there is no problem We hope that all of the players will have recovered after the break and that there will be no injuries. It's very important to have the whole squad. I hope that after the break we can rotate as we have to play a lot of games - you cannot win trophies with just 11 players."
Betting Odds (888Sport)
- Aston Villa Win: 7.50
- Draw: 4.70
- Manchester City Win: 1.44
Possible XI: Hart; Sagna, Kompany, Otamendi, Kolarov; Fernandinho, Toure; Sterling, Silva, Bruyne; Bony
Possible XI: Guzan; Hutton, Lescott, Richards, Amavi; Westwood, Gueye; Sinclair, Grealish, Ayew; Gestede